COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M Forest Service awarded grants to two community programs – including College Station for Urban Forest Sustainability.
The City of College Station has a five-year plan to mitigate the effects of urban heat islands.
With an increased grant fund, the Texas A&M Forest Service was able to award the city $43,302 to plant 117 trees in the city.
“They start bringing benefits right away, but the majority of the benefits will come once they start getting a little taller and their canopy starts to expand, and you’ll see a lot of heat island reduction in the areas where they are planted,” said Michael Merritt, program manager, urban and community forestry, Texas A&M Forest Service.
In 2022, the city developed the “Cooling College Station” to create a healthier, greener environment and more shady areas.
Michael Merritt of the Texas A&M Forest Service says planting more trees helps reduce flooding, water runoff, energy conservation, home shading and overall pollution reduction — especially when it comes to hot soils like asphalt.
“That temperature can be 125 degrees, maybe more in the summer, but if there’s a tree shading that parking lot, then you’re talking about a 25 to 30 degree reduction in temperature,” Merritt said.
The goal is for College Station to plant over 4,000 trees across the city.
He adds that treetop subdivisions are likely to improve mood and encourage people to be more outdoors and get more fresh air.